A discovery made in a ditch alongside a NSW road has devastated locals after king tides and giant waves smashed towns along the coast this week.
A father-of-two from Davistown on the Central Coast stumbled upon a giant octopus laying in a puddle of water roadside, that had sadly washed up with the waves before settling on land.
"Biggest king tides in 20 yrs. Brought a few creatures up into the swales at Davistown," he wrote on Facebook on Thursday, adding the animal was deceased when he found it.
He explained he was walking his kids home from school when the creature caught his eye, but because it was dead, he decided not to put it back into the ocean.
Dangerous waves and high tides lash NSW coast
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology warned of "significant wave heights" of up to 10.7 metres in Wollongong, south of Sydney. Surf conditions remained "dangerous" along much of the NSW coast in the days that followed — including the Central Coast — with a mega king tide event at play.
The term "king tide" is widely used to describe any remarkably high tide which is a natural and predictable part of the tidal cycle. Although normal, king tide events can have noticeable effects where the ocean meets the land such as flooding and erosion, according to BOM.
Octopus discovery explained
Central Coast residents were shocked to learn an octopus had washed up onto land. But Dr John Healy, a scientist at the Australian Museum wasn't so surprised.
He suggested to Yahoo News that the octopus was likely the Common Sydney octopus (Octopus tetricus) or the Hammer octopus (Octopus australis), although it's "very hard to say from one photo taken from the sucker side".
"My money would probably go on the Octopus tetricus as it is common, gets to a good size (60cm across) and tends to hang around shallow water areas (sand or rocky areas) hence more likely to be swept in by a king tide," he explained.
The discovery left some saddened with many saying "poor thing".
"Someone put it back where it belongs," one said. "Hope someone returned it to sea," wrote another.
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